While much of the offseason discussions have been around backup point guard, Immanuel Quickley, and rightfully so, third-string point guard Deuce McBride joined in and also (albeit to a lesser degree) found himself in the news. Reports surfaced earlier today that the Knicks, as expected, would be picking up his $1.8 million team option. McBride is known around the league as a very good defender and was rumored to be picking up some interest among rival teams. But with no deal coming to fruition, McBride seems to be staying in New York, at least for the time being.
Now, it is hard to speculate what this means for the team going forward. His relatively cheap contract doesn’t have massive implications for what the team is planning to do or wants to do in free agency. And with very few substantial updates on the aforementioned Quickley and international prospect Rokas Jokubaitis, McBride’s role as well as the team’s point guard depth heading into next season remains unknown.
That being said, keeping McBride is a smart call. Not only is he on a team-friendly deal, but McBride has also shown over his first two seasons in the league that he’s a very solid point guard, capable of playing a larger role when called upon. In the 22-23 campaign, McBride appeared in 64 games, one of which was an impressive 18-point performance in a win against Portland. He did end up averaging only 3.5P PG, but McBride’s impact goes beyond just the counting stats. All season long, he played some incredibly sound point-of-attack defense and was especially great at navigating screens and being disruptive in the passing lanes. And in the 16 games in which McBride played 15 or more minutes last season, New York went 12-4. Extrapolate that out to the last two seasons, and the Knicks are 20-5 in the 25 games he’s played 15 or more minutes. This isn’t to say that he’s as good as Quickley or that he can replace the reigning Sixth Man of the Year Finalist were he to be traded, but in McBride, they have a very safe and known commodity who some believe has a real shot to develop offensively and by retaining him, the Knicks gave themselves a bit of an insurance blanket.